Thursday, February 28, 2008

Forked Tongues

I.

I found this Aesop fable on the internet:

The Farmer and the Snake

One winter a Farmer found a Snake stiff and frozen with cold. He had compassion on it, and taking it up, placed it in his bosom. The Snake was quickly revived by the warmth, and resuming its natural instincts, bit its benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound.

"Oh," cried the Farmer with his last breath, "I am rightly served for pitying a scoundrel."

According to the narrator, the morale of this tale is: "The greatest kindness will not bind the ungrateful. ". I, however, find the morale incompatible with the premises of this short story. "kindbess" and "ungrateful" are not the values that this fable tries to illustrate. It's not kindness that moved the farmer to help the frozen snake, but extreme pity, a pity so overwhelming and unthinking, that it by-passed all of the farmer's accumulated experience and knowledge, to do this act of human kindness. Gratitude is not the expected response to be evinced by the dispensation of pity. An ever greater brutality, buoyed by the entitlement of the "pitied" , is the natural consequence of this miscalculation.

II.

A Un report "deems Palestinian terrorism the “inevitable consequence” of Israeli occupation."

...Here’s the report’s author, John Dugard:

[C]ommon sense . . . dictates that a distinction must be drawn between acts of mindless terror, such as acts committed by al-Qaida, and acts committed in the course of a war of national liberation against colonialism, apartheid or military occupation.

In the meantime, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, says to a Jordanian audience:

"At this present juncture, I am opposed to armed struggle because we cannot succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different,"

I'm always struck by the smoothness of the way the UN and Palestinian terrorism seem to work so well together. While the one provides the "moral" coverage, the warrant for past, present and future atrocities, the other proceeds to reap as much material benefit from a world that wants nothing more than to see Palestinian people pacified and normalized.

No longer able to pretend that Palestinian terrorism is not terrorism, the UN has moved beyond this sticking point to assert any even greater "truth": that Palestinian terrorism is a right, while Israel's self-defence is criminal.

There was a time when Palestinians pretended that they wanted peace with Israel. Abbas is no longer bound by that pretense. Showing how far he can milk the West and Israel for money and concessions, he says nothing about reciprocal gestures (promises) in return for the hard cash and real estate that were and are ceded to Palestinians.

The language of "for now, until such time..." is reminicesent of the notorious "Stages Strategy" which the PLO etched upon its covenant and its people's minds:

Since the outbreak of the current intifada, more and more Palestinian spokesmen have revealed that they ultimately have no intention of ever reaching a permanent peace with Israel. Speaking in Ramallah, one of the main ideologues of Yasser Arafat's Fatah organization, Sakher Habash, declared:


[A]t this stage it is imperative that we realize our temporary political goal continued in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem within the 4 June borders, and this will lead to a democratic solution of building democratic Palestine on all the national land. I believe that the time is not appropriate to speak about the revolution to liberate all of the land....

The Palestinian state whatever it will be will constitute of beginning of the dismantling of the Zionist enterprise" (al-Hayat al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2000).

Two months later, speaking in the name of Yasser Arafat, Habash declared:


Experience proves that without the establishment of the democratic state on all the land peace will not be realized. We are going through transitional stages through which we can push the Zionist society to give up on Zionism for there cannot be co-existence between Zionism and the Palestinian National Movement. The Jews must get rid of Zionism....They must be citizens in the state of the future, the State of Democratic Palestine" (al-Hayat al-Jadida, Jan. 1, 2001). (Source)

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